Microsorum whiteheadii Smith & Hoshizaki
Even today in the early part
of the 21st century new ferns are still being discovered. This member of the
A group of collectors were out
in search of Amorphophallus hirsutus
when they happened upon a limestone outcropping
This fern was originally seen
by John Banta, a Florida plantsman, who could not recall where he had originally
This is an example of what is known as a strap fern. The strap ferns are primarily in the genera of Polypodium (this includes subcategories such as Campyloneurum, Niphidium, and Microsorum) and Pyrrosia.
There are similarities in
these strap ferns, but they all are broad and lanceolate in shape. The
Old world species are represented by Microsorum. In Southeast Asia, there is Microsorum fortunei, M. thailandicum, M. steerii, and M. punctatum, plus the new species, M. whiteheadii. In Africa, there is M. pappei (which is very similar to M. fortunei in appearance). There are other Microsorum species in these countries, but they are generally not cultivated.
Within the genus Pyrrosia,
there are several strap-fronds: Pyrrosia stigmosa, P. splendens, P.
beddomeana, P. penangiana